I found Peekamoose, in the Catskill mountain range of New York, to be a very enjoyable hike. The mountain sees many hikers for different reasons. It is one of the peaks that is part of the Catskill 3500 list, a pursuit of many northeast "peakbaggers". The hike is mostly steady, not that strenuous, and doesn't cover a long distance. The trailhead is easy to find, the trail is easy to follow, and there are some nice views to be had on some ledges up the mountain, and beyond. Like so many Catskill hikes though, Peekamoose lets you really enjoy the changing forest, and I think this is one of it's strongest appeals to be visited.
Peekamoose is usually climbed with it's neighbor mountain, Table. Table is also a peak on the Catskill 3500 list, so it makes sense to climb them both if that is a pursuit of yours, or simply to see some more views, and hike some more. The col between them doesn't drop down that much, and the distance apart is around a mile. So what is the way to go about doing this? You take the Peekamoose-Table trail of course!
Concentrating on Peekamoose, after all this a page on Peekamoose, not Peekamoose and Table, the best way to reach the summit is to take the Peekamoose-Table trail from the Peekamoose trailhead on CR-42 about 10 miles west of West Shokan. I've seen different distances on the length of the trail. The book I like to use, Catskill Mountain Guide, lists the distance to the summit as 3.35 miles. The trail continues on to Table and beyond, so it is possible to come in from the other direction if that is something you want to do.
The summit of Peekamoose doesn't provide any real views at all. There is a ledge beyond the 3500 ft. elevation sign that does have some fine views, but probably the best part of Peekamoose is the hike through the forest. I was there on a summer weekday and there wasn't anyone else around. It was a pleasant feeling of solitude. I enjoyed how you pass through different sections of trees, such as beech, sugar maple, and birch. The wind was blowing a bit, and I distinctly remember hearing some of the trees really swaying and making some noise. I even got startled by a tree making a real loud cracking sound. It was probably the one time I thought a tree was going to fall on me! There's mushrooms to be seen, and different wildflowers, along with some interesting boulders to be passed. Peekamoose is really a good destination for some Catskill hiking.
Getting ThereTake I-87 to Exit 19. Follow Rt. 28 W. As you approach Boiceville look for 28A on the left. You turn left onto 28A and follow that for a short ways, and then turn right onto CR-42. The road is at a intersection with a big wooden sign, and I remember that it doesn't say CR-42 until you turn on to it. You shouldn't be able to miss it though, it should be obvious. You follow CR-42 for about 10 miles, and the trailhead parking is on the right.
Looking at the map you may see that you can take 28A earlier on from Rt. 28. You can, but I would not recommend this. The road is slow going, too many twists and turns. You are better off taking Rt. 28 to 28A.
Red TapeThere is no red tape to deal with. Parking is free. It's not a large parking area, so you might want to get there early on a weekend.
CampingThere is the Boughton Memorial lean-to not that far after Table on a short spur trail off the Peekamoose-Table trail. In general there is no camping above 3500 ft. from March 21st to December 21st in the Catskills. Not that far away by car there is the Woodland Valley Campground on Woodland Valley Road off Rt. 28 near Phoenicia. There is a fee to camp there, but the trail to Wittenberg, Cornell, and Slide is there.
External LinksThe Catskill-3500 Club is a good source if you're interested in the Catskills.
Catskill Hiker is a useful website.
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